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The Purpose of Failure

The Purpose of Failure

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1
THE PURPOSE OF FAILURE
Zac Poonen
______________________________________________________________________________
CONTENTS
1. God\u2019s Purpose In Man\u2019s Failure
2. God\u2019s Perfect Plan For Those Who Have Failed
Copyright - Zac Poonen (2000)

This book has been copyrighted to prevent misuse.
It should not be reprinted or translated without
written permission from the author.
Permission is however given for any part of this book
to be copied, provided it is for FREE distribution,
provided NO ALTERATIONS are made,
provided the AUTHOR'S NAME AND ADDRESS are mentioned
and provided this COPYRIGHT notice
["Copyright by Zac Poonen"]
is included.

For further details, please contact:
Zac Poonen,
16 DaCosta Square, Bangalore - 560084. India.
2
CHAPTER ONE
GOD\u2019S PURPOSE IN MAN\u2019S FAILURE
(A message given at Christian Fellowship Centre, Bangalore, India,
on Sunday, April 9, 2000)
Let\u2019s turn toLuke chapter 22 verse 31.
Here we read of Jesus warning Peter of a danger that lay ahead of him. He told him "Simon, Simon, behold,
Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail;
and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."
We all know that Peter denied the Lord three times that very night. In verse 34, we read that Jesus told Peter," I
say to you, Peter, the cock will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me."
What I want to share with you this morning is God\u2019s purpose in man\u2019s failure. This will encourage all of us
who feel frustrated and discouraged because of our failures to have hope.

The question first of all is: Does God allow failure? Does He permit it? Is there a purpose in failure? Or is failure something that has no purpose at all in God\u2019s perfect will and something that God cannot use to further his purposes!

When we read this passage, we see that God did not prevent Peter from denying Him. Why didn\u2019t Jesus say
"Simon I have prayed for you that you will not deny Me even once." Why did the Lord pray only that Peter\u2019s
faith may not fail, even if Peter himself fell?? Isn\u2019t it interesting that the Lord did not pray that Peter might not
fall?

Some of us would like the Lord to pray for us that we might never fall. We would like the Lord to say to us "My son, my daughter, I have prayed for you that you willnever fall andnever fail." But interestingly enough, our Lord doesn\u2019t pray such a prayer for us.

What did Jesus pray for Simon? That when Satan tempted him, his faith would not fail. He didn\u2019t pray that Peter should not fall in temptation, but that when he did fall, his faith in God\u2019s perfect love would not fail him - so that even when Peter reached the bottom of the pit of failure, he would confess, "God still loves me".

That is faith \u2013 and that is the confession we must always have on our lips and in our hearts - no matter how low
we may have sunk or fallen - that God still loves us, JUST AS WE ARE.

That was the confession of the prodigal son. When he had reached so low that he could not go any lower, he still believed that his father loved him. I can\u2019t imagine anyone reaching any lower than the prodigal son had reached - eating what the pigs eat. That boy was at rock-bottom. But when he reached rock-bottom, he remembered one thing: That his father still loved him. Otherwise he would never have returned home. Supposing he\u2019d heard that his father had died and that his elder brother was now running the house, do you think he would have come back home? No. He knew what his elder brother was like. And knowing that, he would never have come back. He came back only because he knew that his father loved him.

There are sinners who never come to some churches because they sense that the pastor or elders there are like that elder brother in the parable. You can\u2019t blame those sinners then for not coming. If however the elders of a church are like thatf at her, then the worst of sinners will come to that church seeking salvation, just like they came to Jesus. Our church must have such an image, that the worst of sinners feel free to come to us. If Jesus is really in our midst, the worst of sinners will definitely come and find salvation in our midst.

3
There\u2019s hope for all who\u2019ve failed thoroughly, who\u2019ve made a mess of their lives, and w ho\u2019ve reached rock
bottom. From there the Lord can pick you up and take you to the heights of glory. His prayer for us is thatour
faith in God\u2019s love should not fail at any time.

If you don\u2019t need this message today, dear brother and sister, you\u2019ll certa inly need it one day in the future - when you hit rock bottom. Remember one thing in that day: that God still loves you, no matter where you are, or how low you have fallen. May your faith in God\u2019s love not fail in that hour.

Faith is basically believing that God still loves us. He doesn\u2019t love our sin, He doesn\u2019t want us to continue in

our sin. He\u2019s like a father who sees his child\u2019s diseases and hates those diseases, but loves his child. Think of a mother who sees her child full of leprosy or tuberculosis. That mother loves her child so much, but hates those diseases with all her heart. God loves sinners but He hates their sin.

We see God\u2019slove for sinners and His hatred of sin on Calvary\u2019s cross. His love for sinners is seen in that He allowed Jesus to die on the cross for us. His hatred of sin is seen in His turning His face away from Jesus when Jesus bore the sin of the world on the cross.

People sometimes ask how a God of love can send people to Hell. What is Hell like? Hell is a place that God has forsaken completely \u2013 a place where God cannot be found. This earth has not been forsaken by God. That\u2019s why there\u2019s still so much of goodness and beauty on this earth. Look at the beauty of creation, for example. Look at the decency and goodness there is in many human beings. Demons would like to possessALL human beings, but they\u2019re unable to, because God has put a restraining wall around people, so that demons can\u2019t do what they like. It is God\u2019s mercy also that gives man health, prosperity and many other c omforts. All these blessings are bestowed by God on both good and evil people. All this proves that God has not forsaken this world. But Hell is not like that. In Hell there is no mercy at all \u2013 because Hell is a truly God-forsaken place.

There is goodness in many unconverted people in this world, because the influences of God are still over them. But once they go to Hell, those very same people will become as evil as the devil himself \u2013 because the mercy of God will no longer be over their lives.

In Hell, people will experience for the first time what it is like to be totally forsaken by God. That was what Jesus experienced on the cross. Jesus experienced Hell on the cross for those three hours of darkness, when God actually forsook Him. There we see how much God hates sin.

So what is the answer? Can a God of love send people to Hell? The answer to that lies in the answer to this other question: Could a God of love allow His own Son to face Hell on the cross, when the sin of the world was upon Him? If He could do that, He can send people to Hell too. A God of love will turn His face away from those whocont i nue in sin, who say to God, "I amnot going to listen to you. I have chosen my own way and I will continue along it forever."

The Bible says in Proverbs 29:1 (paraphrased) "A man who is corrected many times and refuses to accept
correction will one day suddenly be destroyed and he will not have another chance". If a man keeps on
refusing God\u2019s loving invitations, he is in real danger.

Now I don\u2019t want an y of you over-sensitive brothers and sisters to feel condemned hearing that \u2013 because that verse wasnot written for those whof al l into sin, but to warn those who love to sin and who want tocont i nue in it. It wasnot written for those who try to live in purity but keep falling. It was written forrebel s, who defy God and want to keep on sinning.

How can you know whether you are a rebel? That\u2019s very easy to find out. Just ask yourself whether you havea
desire to repent and to turn back to God? If there\u2019s even the slightest desire within you to turn to God and to
love Him, then that proves that the Holy Spirit is still working in your life and that God is seeking to draw you

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